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Feb 2, 2010 02:34 AM

Birmingham - Valentines and Chinese New Year

Was wondering if any of our favorite Chinese places such as Mr. Chen's or Red Pearl have anything special planned for the Chinese New Year? Or are there other places in town doing someting special that day? (I'm hoping they'll be open for the event.)

If not.. I still hear some soup dumplings calling our names!

(And yes normally I'd rather go somewhere more romantic for Valentine's - but we're already having a couple's dinner cooked by a private chef on the 13th, so that's covering the romantic dinner.)

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  1. Wow! Private chef! You really know how to do it up for V Day!!!
    I haven't had the chance to check with Chen's on their plans, if any. My experience has been that few places do anything to note Lunar New Year. Don't know if Red Pearl will reopen in time.
    A group in Hoover used to do a dragon dance, but don't know if they still do.

    8 Replies
      1. re: Big Daddy

        Has anyone been to the festival before? It was apparently free last year, but I can't find any more information about the one this year (besides the link posted above). I love me some food festivals...

        1. re: bluemoon4515

          Hi, we went to the Bham Chinese Festival last year, and yes, it was free. I definitely wouldn't call it a food festival--a few Chinese restaurants had food there for something like $5/plate. But it was great to learn about Chinese culture and what is going on in the Chinese community in Birmingham.
          We have recently adopted a son from S. Korea so I found this site by searching for Lunar New Year celebrations in the Birmingham area. If anyone knows of any others, I would love to know!

          1. re: bluemoon4515

            I emailed the site and was advised that there is no specific charge but donations are appreciated. I seem to recall an email noting a suggested donation of $1 but cannot find the email.

            The restaurants participating this year are Hunan Wok, China Doll 2, and Golden Dragon. I know nothing of these places but the Mr. Fu, with whom I was emailing, wrote "there will be a restaurant selling Chinese dumplings. They are hand made and is very hard to produce large quantity, so I do not know how many they will bring." He did not clarify when asked what type of dumplings.

            He also asked if I was a fan of Chinese food, suggesting he could make some local recs and i emailed that yes I was a fan of authentic regional Chinese cooking. His reply was "You can go to China Doll 2 on Valley Ave and ask the owner Mrs. Chen. Tell her Mr. Fu send you. I had authentic Chinese food (North China style) there before." Anyone been?

            1. re: Dax

              The only China Doll 2 I'm familiar with is on Valleydale Road, in that plaza at the corner with Caldwell Mill Road where the Publix is. It's been years since I've been there, but remember it being one of the better places I'd tried at the time. Nice people, too. I just don't get down that way anymore, since I stopped working in Hoover.

              1. re: Big Daddy

                That's it and it's way out of my way it seems. I would give it a shot if I knew it was worth the drive (their "website" is very limited). The only info I can find is from Citysearch (stab me now) and the review reads "I love chinese and eat it often" but then orders General Gao/Tso which was apparently bad. Normally, that might actually be enough to make me try it.

                1. re: Big Daddy

                  China Doll 2 at the Publix Shopping Center on Valleydale is now under new management. The change took place since the first of the year.

                  We've had dinner from there twice, mainly because I didn't want to drive over to Mr. Chen's in Hoover.

                  The hot and sour soup was bland the first time, but better the second time. The crab rangoon were good, as were the normal, traditional, steamed dumplings (no soup dumplings.) The food is normal, Americanized Chinese food. Not bad if you're in the area, or live in the area and can't make it to Mr. Chen's.

            2. re: Big Daddy

              Thanks for the link. Haven't been to one of these festivals before. Guess we've been missing out on this slice of life in Birmingham.